When delivering a sales proposal, the right solution description will ensure that your client receives the right information to understand your value proposition—and to select you as their vendor.
First and foremost, clear your calendar for an hour—and take a critical look at the solution description your team last submitted in a sales proposal from your client’s perspective. Then, ask yourself these questions:
- What could the client learn from this solution description?
- Did it strengthen the proposal?
- Did it effectively demonstrate how you can help the client achieve their goals or solve their problems?
- Did the description bring all of your solution components together with clarity?
If you aren’t sure if your last solution description did these things, here are five best practices to make sure you write a winning solution description in your next sales proposal.
1. Be consistent throughout your proposal.
The information in the solution description should complement and strengthen the information in other sections of your proposal.
For example, your proposal’s executive summary introduces your solution in terms of your client’s vision and the potential benefits that your solution offers. The solution description section complements and expands the executive summary’s introduction with more information.
2. Present all components as a cohesive solution.
Your solution may include multiple products, services, delivery capabilities and ongoing support. The solution description provides an opportunity to logically present all these components and to help the client understand how your solution will address their needs and meet their goals.
3. Provide the right amount of information.
When presenting the solution and its supporting components, you need to provide information without every overwhelming detail. The length of your solution description will depend upon the complexity of your solution (perhaps 1 to 2 pages for each product and service component). Then, if detail is requested, you can provide it in the relevant proposal sections.
For example, you may give details in an appendix, technical sections or through links to embedded or online resources.
4. Tailor the full proposal document to the client’s needs.
When you present your solution, tailor it to your client’s vision and the benefits your solution will provide. Ditch the jargon. Ditch the fluff. Ditch all the information about products, services, features and benefits that are NOT relevant to your client’s objectives.
5. Make it easy to read and understand.
Finally, you should present your solution description in a way that’s easy to read and understand. Don’t slap in sell sheets and expect them to serve as a solution description, and don’t make this important section of your proposal look like a hurried afterthought. Here are a few things to remember to use when presenting your content to make it more legible:
- Section headers and paragraph headers
- Bullets and numbering
- Effective use of space
- Compelling images—with explanatory captions where appropriate
- Sidebars for callouts of compelling customer quotes or ROI results
Deliver Winning Solution Descriptions that Enlighten and Engage
Using RFP proposal software, we help you easily include solution descriptions that follow all five best practices for crafting a winning solution description.